Flexible Childcare Services Scotland’s Cummings Park Nursery in Aberdeen have received £2,000 to invest in the nursery garden and community garden for enhanced outdoor opportunities thanks to Aberdeen International Airport’s ABZ Propeller Fund.
The ABZ Propeller Fund makes grants available to worthy recipients who have projects linked to education, sustainability and economic regeneration.
The committee of the fund is made up of airport staff, and representatives from local and national government.
The investment will allow the early learning and childcare setting to improve their garden space and provide greater outdoor play and learning experiences for the children. The fund will also be used for the development of the community garden space which will open up access to the wider community who will all benefit from outdoor play at Cummings Park.
A spokesperson for the Early Years Team at Aberdeen City Council said, “This is great news. This investment emphasises the importance of outdoor play and community engagement. It will benefit, not only the children attending the nursery, but also the wider Northfield community.”
According to Cummings Park Nursery Manager Amy Grant, “We are delighted to receive this fund from Aberdeen International Airport, we can now to improve our garden area and introduce new outdoor resources which will enhance the great experiences that our free flow model already delivers. Outdoor play is extremely important to young children; encouraging exercise through play, it builds confidence, independence and self-esteem and it gives children an opportunity to explore the natural environment, which can be difficult for many families to access depending on their circumstances.”
Flexible Childcare Services Scotland is a national charity with 21 childcare settings across Scotland. Their services are located in areas of high deprivation where their flexible, book by the hour and pay as you go model not only helps parents to save money on their childcare but also helps parents to find employment or educational opportunities.
According to Susan McGhee, “As a charity we offer something more than just childcare – we offer a model that is proving to help lift families out of poverty. More than half of families using our services fall into one of the priority groups identified in Scottish Government’s Tackling Child Poverty report, Best Start, Bright Futures.
"However, 77% of parents using our services said they are able to work more thanks to flexible childcare and more than 80% said their household income had increased thanks to our flexible model. This funding from the ABZ Propeller Fund will provide resources and experiences that many families using our services would be unable to have and this will give the children in our care, and from the wider community, even more opportunities.”
And that’s just what will happen in Cummings Park Nursery, the charity are buying cold frames and outdoor planters that will allow the children to plant and grow their own food, balance scales will help improve coordination and confidence and give them greater access to nature which gives children the freedom to explore, use their senses, and be physically active.
Bruce Watson, Chairman of the ABZ Propeller Fund, said: “The ABZ Propeller Fund is a highly competitive process with many organisations looking for grants throughout the year.
“Flexible Childcare Services Scotland’s Cummings Park Nursery had an excellent submission which aligned with what we look to achieve with our £25,000 funding pot.
“This funding will not only benefit those at the nursery but the wider community and we look forward to seeing the results of our funding in due course.”